Welcome to another one of my Swedish adventures! This time I went to Tanndalen with the university to do skiing and winter education. I was absolutely terrified as I have never skiied on snow before. Being an English man we don’t have such environmental conditions which meant I’ve only been on one tiny plastic slope before. Because of this I only had the simple aims of trying my best and to come back in one piece. What followed was a week of many different challenges that I was determined to tackle.
The first challenge was sleeping on a coach that was 16 hours long… But the moment we stepped out into the winter wonderland I knew it was worth it. The area and its scenery was beautiful and for the most part, we were graced with incredible weather.
I felt that here was a well thought out structure to the trip, that the weather even complimented at times. I was really grateful that we started with the cross country and tour skiing, whilst my energy levels were still high. Then there was a slightly shorter tour as part of winter friluftsliv (being out and in the nature) through the woods, where we ended up having lunch in front of a superb snowy background. Then when my energy levels had truly depleted I could fall back on the ski lifts associated with alpine skiing!
My challenges often came when I was tired or struggling with an activity. This was quite often sadly, considering I was a beginner at most things. What I will be eternally grateful though is the support I had from local students and fellow internationals. Naturally being quite an independent person I am quite determined to get by by myself and was nervous to seek help. I was pleasantly surprised though and learnt that it’s okay and in fact much healthier to do. Despite my own mental strength that pushed through such a detailed programme, the constant guidance and motivation was invaluable.
Because of this I was able to have many enjoyable moments! A personal favourite was the tour ski that involved a little downhill practice, skiing over a lake and visiting Fjållnas (Sweden’s oldest high mountain hotel). Also on the last night (since coronavirus ended the trip one day early) I made the most out of the evening skiing. This was an experience I may not have for a while so I certainly had to enjoy it…
I think the guy working the ski lift must have been sick of me going up 15 to 20 times in 2 hours.. But the freedom of skiing on your own after a week of progression is excellent. Before the trip I was stressing how I would cope with so many different things. Now because of all these excellent memories with great people, I hope I am able to ski again more confidently one day.